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Rare as the milk of queens, Mikel's goal earns him man of the match honors

A solid FA Cup showing was highlighted by a rare Mikel goal and a senior debut from 18-year-old Lewis Baker.

Bags of goals.
Bags of goals.
Michael Regan

1. MIKEL - MC 8.5
Minutes played90
You may as well call him Ishmael.

People often talk about the "Magic of the FA Cup," almost always referring to some minnow from the Autoglass Seventeeth Division ProAm of Middle Earth - comprised entirely of one family's eight children, plus their three strays cats, who all live in a hobbit-hovel and subsist entirely on discarded eggshells - pulling off a miracle victory in 94th minute on a gravel pitch in the middle of a sharknado over a glitzy top division side with their multimillionaires and comfy chairs.  Magic so pungent, you can almost smell it over the meadow muffins and the burning whale oil!

Sometimes however, all the magic we need is one simple goal.  One basic act of a man taking flight, connecting short black hair with a whizzing, spinning pink MANGO-colored ball for a split second before wheeling away to celebrate in front of a wall of 5700 traveling Blue shirts.  Sorry, Squiggly Rams, sometimes the football gods want their magic Super(Eagle)-sized.

2. OSCAR - AMC 7.9
Minutes played87
As the absence of the usual, barely semi-meaningful stats that adorn these sorts of posts can attest, the generally accepted definition of the "Magic of the FA Cup" wasn't the only thing taking a day off on Sunday.

Therefore I have no proof ("proof") to hold up of Oscar's usual well-rounded efforts, but with both Hazard and Mata on the bench, the entire task of breaking down the circled buses of Derby County fell onto his (and Willian's) shoulders.  Surrounded by a shoot-first-do-anything-later Ramires, a do-anything-first-shoot-later Eto'o, and a do-nothing-first-then-more-nothing-later Essien, it's perhaps unsurprising that we failed to make any true inroads.

Still, a goal did finally arrive for Oscar, a simple move started by a throw, flicked on by a sweet Hazard touch, and smashed past the goalkeeper with unstoppable force.  It was his eighth goal of the season in all competitions, moving him into second place, one ahead of Fernando Torres and two behind Eden Hazard.

Minutes played90
Another good showing overall from the man with the catchiest song in the current Chelsea repertoire, Willian's (surprising?) set piece-taking skills were on full display in this one as well.  Corners and free kicks were taken with pace and accuracy, and it was one of the latter that did most of the work on Mikel's goal.

Having six top class attacking midfielders (and one occasional Ramires, too) in the squad does create a unique set of problems, but at the moment, and as long as we keep finding winning combinations of the six, I wouldn't trade for the world.

Schwarzer (7.3), A.Cole (6.9), David Luiz (6.7), Cahill (7.3), Azpilicueta (7.2), Essien (5.8), Ramires (6.7), Eto'o (5.1)

Hazard (7.0), Torres (6.3), Baker (7.0)



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